First there was the sound of screeching brakes and a blaring train horn. Then silence. Minutes later, there was a cacophony of emergency responders, with multiple sirens roaring en route to the scene. The next sound was a helicopter airlifting a pedestrian who authorities say was struck by a CSX train near the Wilbur Ave. and West O’Reilly Street crossing at approximately 4pm on Wed. Feb 15.
The collision occurred a half-mlle north from where the CSX train trestle passes from the hamlet of Connelly over the Rondout Creek and through the rock-hewn tunnel into Kingston.
The incident was described in police parlance as a train-versus-pedestrian incident. The injured pedestrian was transported from the scene with the assistance of the Kingston Fire Department.
A group of police officers standing at the top near the tracks were tight-lipped about the details, referring all questions to their superiors at the police station and clearing the road for an ambulance to exit.
Reached at the police station, lieutenant Ernie Osterhoudt said the victim was struck by the southbound moving train. The pedestria was described as conscious and alert.
“The victim was seated on the tracks,” said Osterhoudt. “The investigation is ongoing. But he was obviously very lucky.”
This is the second person struck by a train in the last three months. A driver was hit by a train and hospitalized last December.